Kook (ko̵̅o̅k) : Someone regarded as eccentric or crazy and standing out from a group.
Dinner was late as usual with Papa at the helm and the kids were beside themselves with low blood sugar, tired bones and more than a touch of delirium. Things were escalating in a direction that most parents would recognize and probably label as "not good." As would I.
One had emptied the dolly carriage contents across the room, like a bad doll car wreck, and proceeded to place his sister inside for a high speed ride. The other had begun to turn out all the lights in the house, upstairs and down, rendering it virtually impossible to cook and even more difficult to properly navigate a doll carriage with your sister inside. Even if she was shouting with glee at the moment, I could see this ending poorly. I demanded to be listened to, as any father would, but could sense, with my extra keen nodes of perception that I've developed over these years of parenting, that I probably wouldn't be.
Attempting to use a more subtle means of strength than the forefathers, I went with the fast and determined stride across the room and took my subject gently by the shoulders and turned him away from the light switch to engage in eye to eye deliberations.
"Ezra, WHAT are you doing?" I said in my calm, collected guy voice.
"KooKin'!!" said he, with a smile so wide and so contagious I had to have one too.
Now, I had no idea what "KooKin' " was. I'd never heard the word.
But, decided right then that it deserved a day in court, " Five minutes of KooKin'!!" I declared.
"BUT," waving the fatherly finger and setting the ground rules, "I get ONE light!".
In unison, "OKAY!" Aargh, I low balled. "AND," trying to reassert my control over the situation, "Don't bother your mother, she's trying to work."
"Yeah, RIGHT!", a faraway voice from upstairs hollered.
"Sorry, Sweetie!!" I yell. "Sorry, Mama!!" they yell.
"Let the KooKin' begin!"
I now have five minutes of guaranteed light, by which, I finish my cooking. The children have a sanctioned bout of rough housing - running, jumping up and down and shouting, "kookin!" - interrupted occasionally, of course, by Papa for rules infractions usually of the, "that is going to hurt somebody," variety. And...well, tradition is born.
So, this is how a semi-regular "Papa Style" ritual develops around our household. Something like 1 part necessity, 1 part understanding and 3 parts lightening up. Something like that.
Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.
- Willy Wonka